So the guy asks where I'm from. I always find this a bit usual. Is he asking where in Glasgow or...Chicago. I say Chicago, which I think was the right answer. And he's asking if Obama is from there (I guess kind of...he was a representative of some district in Chicago, I think) and stuff like this.
Then he gives me a slice of kebab meat. I find this weird and don't know what to do for like three seconds. So I'm just frozen there. He has this piece of kebab meat on the tongs. I eventually pick it up then I don't know what to do with it. Finally, I realise that I'm supposed to eat it.
It's strange. I guess it's like at your finer pubs, they'll give you a taste of various beers and whatnot, upon request. But this is sticky kebab meat. I don't want to touch this. And it tastes like kebab meat.
But I guess he thought I could do with a snack so I appreciate the gesture.
In other news, got an email today. "Further to my telephone call, I'd like to ask if you're available for work". I did get some telephone call and possibly a voice mail, but I assumed it was some energy company with more nuisance phone calls.
As I said before, the company I was working for has gone out of business. What then seemed to happen was a bunch of people who used to work for that company got together and created a cooperative. I wasn't asked but I didn't really know anybody and they didn't have my contact details. So I've just been doing work for this other company that I'd been working with all along.
But now it seems that some guy has purchased the rights to the website, email address, and telephone number of this company. So that's how he got my phone number and email address.
I didn't answer the phone number, though. And didn't listen to any voice mail. And didn't get back to him.
So I get this email asking if I'd do work for him.
This guy's name looked familiar. So I searched my emails. Sure enough, I contacted him three years ago looking for deposition work in London. He asked some weird shit that I couldn't understand so I said I can't do any of that but if you have easier jobs, I can do those. He didn't reply. That was the end of it.
This also might be the guy...I contacted him and he also gave some weird reply and then he went out of business not too long after that and moved to the Philippines. And people had bad stories about this guy, not getting paid and whatnot. I don't know if it's the same person.
Anyway, the point of all of this is it's an example of wu-wei: the Chinese art of non-doing. I didn't ask this guy for a job. I got an email saying, "Please work for me."
This Dubai stuff. I told the woman, "I can't do this work. I'm not good enough." She insisted that I do it.
There's a story in the Chuang-Tzu. Chuang-Tzu was fishing when he was approached by two vice-chancellors of the state of Chu. They said to Chuang-Tzu, "We wish to appoint you as prime minister of Chu."
Chuang-Tzu, understanding the Tao as he did, offered an analogy. He said that he's heard of a sacred tortoise who was sacrificed three thousand years ago and his shell is now venerated, wrapped in silk, sits in a shrine in a temple, et cetera.
So Chuang-Tzu asked these vice-chancellors, "Is it better to give up your life and leave a sacred shell to be venerated by a cult for 3000 years or to be a regular turtle, dragging your tail in a muddy riverbank."
The vice-chancellors said, "For the turtle, better to drag your tail in the mud." At which point, Chuang-Tzu dismissed the vice-chancellors, asking them to let him drag his proverbial tail in the mud.
So this guy is offering £100 plus travel cost. Now...for a full seven hour day at this other company, I get about £110. But for a four hour day (minimum fee) I get about £60. So...there are a lot of minimum days. £100/day is probably the better deal. And I like getting paid by the day WAY MORE than this nonsensical hourly system.
I mean, hourly wages work for many jobs but not for this one where I have no control over how long the day is.
However, this guy is only offering to pay travel costs. So...a ticket costs £11.20, he pays £11.20. And that's it.
But this other company pays a set travel fee that's more than twice that and also pays two hours for the journey time. So...it's way more. That's an extra £30 plus about £10. £40 more a day.
So...hmm. Yeah, I did the right thing. I told this guy that he can either pay me the same travel costs and journey time system that this other company is paying (and that the previous company paid) or I could only do jobs within an hour from Glasgow.
Oh, just got a reply. He's happy to pay that. So...I'll now be getting a guaranteed amount that's only £10 less than this other company's maximum amount. I'll probably come out ahread, on average, with this new company.
But they roll over so easily that you just know they're making three times what they're paying you. This woman at this other company did the same thing. First, she gives a lowball offer of only paying travel expenses (no travel time) and when I said I couldn't do long-distance jobs unless she paid for travel time and using my chart (which basically gives double the cost of the ticket) for travel expenses, she said, "Okay, I can work with that."
These people go on holiday about 15 times a year. Rumour has it that the owners of these companies live in veritable mansions. And they're doing it off of my work. Parasites. They're offering NOTHING.
I should have negotiated harder. "ALL OF IT!". I mean, I have the guy over the proverbial barrel. He doesn't know anybody, I'm the only steno guy in all of Scotland, and if I don't take the job, he's going to have to bring people up from London all the time. Ah, to hell with it. When I'm making the big Dubai money, none of this will matter.
Here's a work-related memory from university. This guy was graduating. We were both political science guys. He was graduating a year or six months before I was.
I was nervous because what can you do with a political science degree? Nothing. So I said to this guy, "So what are you going to do when you graduate?" You know, because I wanted some ideas for myself.
He says, "I'm going to be a rockstar." I said, "oh" and stopped talking to him.
I mean, okay, the guy was himself concerned because he realised that he was days away from completing a totally useless degree and he had no job lined up. But you don't have to be a dick about it. I didn't tell you to study political science. And we're both in the same proverbial boat.
So he can fuck right off. I wish that universities had yearbooks so I can look that douchebag's name up. It was some Mexican guy.
Even on Facebook, nobody really seems to have people they knew in university on their friends list. It's just high school and sometimes grade school. So I can't even look him up on Facebook.
What else? Is there news? News of the day? This Vietnamese woman didn't reply beyond that first message and it's been 24 hours now. I just asked what there is to do in the little village that she lives in and how long she's been in Scotland. Normal, introductory stuff. I'll give her a week and if she still hasn't replied, I'll go for broke and ask her if she wants to recreate that scene from Full Metal Jacket.
Sometimes, it's the sex questions that work. And if they're not talking to you anyway, there's no harm in trying. The Hail Mary "you're a prostitute" comment.
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